Thursday, August 18, 2005

Me, the expert

When I got a question from the Norwegian Research Council to write an expert assessment of a research project, I was, of course, tremendously flattered. I am still flattered, but not as impressed as I was to begin with. The Research Council has implemented electronic systems for submitting and assessing projects. The system is not impossible to access when you submit something: then it structures the application process quite well. And at that side you are prepared to put in a lot of effort anyway, potentially a well done proposal can mean millions for your research. At the other end, which I was at this time and where you only get 100$ and a chance to put it on your CV (priceless), it's a different story. Of course, I should have checked things out before the last minute, but I have been a little distracted lately, so I didn't. What I found was that:

a) there was no information explaining what I should actually do
b) it was impossible to find the link to the form I needed to fill in
c) when I found the link (after several emails), it didn't work
d) email and contact with human beings to explain things the first time was absolutly a must

Once I had all the right information, it was easy.

Isn't that eternal truth? (And you need to have been a Helva fan to get that connection!)

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